Lina Juzokaite

Lab manager

Meaning of life is one of the greatest questions people try to answer and I am one of them. Could the answer be encoded in the language of genes?

In 2013 graduated in Biomedical Sciences from Newcastle University, England. Right after worked with research group in Human and Medical Genetics at Vilnius University, Lithuania.


As a technician
I joined the group of Dr Thijs Ettema in the spring of 2014 to combine philosophical questions with down-to-earth research approach. As a technician I am helping the team to investigate evolution of archaea and its linkage with eukaryotes. We receive samples from extreme environments around the world  and I am excited to be the first to test what is in it! Usually, samples contain low biomass, therefore DNA extraction becomes a challenging task to obtain right amounts of genomic material for sequencing libraries. The other limiting factor- ”stubborn” archaea which doesn’t want to be lysed easily by standard methods. And that’s how the lab practice becomes interesting: by optimizing existing assays, troubleshooting for those “unlucky” goes and catching up with most advanced technologies.  On top of routine lab methods my most used techniques include Hot Alkaline Lysis, MDA (Multiple Displacement Amplification), PCR based 16S rDNA community screening using universal primers, amplicon generation and methagenomic sequencing library preparations using Nextera, NexteraXT protocols.

Sometimes it is nice to step a little bit further in the phylogenetic tree and look up whether symbiotic lifestyle has an effect on genome evolution? And one of the on going examples is bacteria and multicellular organisms- the flies. I am helping Dr Lisa Klasson with her fly lab, bacterial genome extraction from insect eggs and sample preparation for next generation sequencing.

As a manager
Our group is currently launching LIMS system to keep precise records of samples and their downstream analysis. My responsibility is to make sure everything is getting into the system correctly and on time. Also, as in every hard working lab it is important to coordinate lab work, maintain consumables supply and keep it under control to ensure smooth lab routine. And here the routine is always exciting when supervising those curious master students and sharing experiences!

As a human
I am delighted to be part of Ettema-Lab, troubleshoot every day for better results and learn from enthusiastic team members!
And I still believe our joint forces could help to get a little closer in revealing the answer to the big question!